Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vegan apple cider doughnuts with stewed apple pie filling

Vegan apple cider doughnuts with stewed apple pie filling

So you think you don’t like doughnuts? Not fond of the harsh sweetness, the inevitably greasy and sugar-coated fingers, the chemical aftertaste? Well let me tell you.

You probably have been eating the wrong kind.

Yes. I know. That is a very clichéd argument, and I am well aware of that. But it also happens to be true and has been proven true time and time again. People—regular old flavor-conscious folks with tastes and all of that—have been driven from hatred of dark chocolate (my brother), bacon (my mom), ginger (lucky cake recipients at school), and more from the pure amazingness of homemade goods. I shit you not. Take, for example, this quote from a recent post at describing her encounters on a cookbook tour while handing out homemade marshmallows:

A typical exchange went something like this

[I offer a marshmallow to someone]

”Oh, I don’t really like marshmallows…well fine, I’ll just try a small one.” [loud chewing noises coupled with some lip smacking] “Oh my gosh! I never knew marshmallows could TASTE like this! I don’t even like marshmallows, but I love these!” [grabs a few more, fade out on gobbling sounds]

That may be somewhat hyperbolic but frankly it doesn’t matter, because that, right there, captures just how incredible a homemade good can seem when it compares to the mass-produced substitutes we are used to in this mass-produced world.

Food, in this respect, is unique—you don’t see people going around advertising locally-made, artisanal iPhones. The effect is especially pronounced with fragile desserts like doughnuts. At home, we have no need for preservatives or artificially bright colors or easy-to-prepare microwave versions. We can splurge on good, perishable ingredients. We can take our time to give the proper care to each little round (or square) of dough, or layer of pastry, or fold of meringue, or whatever. And more importantly, we can serve them warm. 

sexy steaming croissants GIF. hurry up with my damn croissants - kanye west
FUCK YES. source

When you think of doughnuts, you’re probably not thinking of the crispy, fried exterior, the tender center with all of its fluffy sweetness, the crunch of the cinnamon sugar and the gooey, flavorful apple pie filling that you will find in THESE doughnuts, oh no—you’re probably thinking of, say, Dunkin Donuts or whatever.

dunkin donuts' pumpkin cake doughnut and pumpkin pie doughnut
Yeah. source

And I’ve got nothing but love for Dunkin Donuts. It’s just...those aren’t THE doughnuts. They’re doughnuts, yes, but they’re not THE doughnuts. They’re not these, for damn sure.

vegan apple cider doughnuts with stewed apple pie filling
Would you ever see a Dunkin Donuts doughnut sitting on a wire rack, dripping with hot oil? Would you?

Making homemade doughnuts is a labor of love. As I took lots of breaks in between component (dough chilling stages, reducing the cider, apple pie filling, etc.), the whole shebang took the better part of a Saturday afternoon, interspersed with homework and leisurely walks and other shit that socially awkward people do on weekends. The anticipation grows with each ingredient added, each stir given to the pot. And when you finally fetch each square of dough out of the fryer with that slotted spoon, the feeling of satisfaction is much, much greater than what is gained from simply buying a doughnut at the Farmer’s Market or the bakery.

Just trust me.

vegan apple cider doughnuts with stewed apple pie filling
No one's heart is immune to the fresh doughnut.

Here’s the recipe.


Vegan apple cider doughnuts with stewed apple pie filling

Adapted from Vegan Desserts


Stewed apple filling

340 grams • diced apples • 3 cups

4 grams • lemon juice • 1 teaspoon

74 grams • dark brown sugar • 1/3 cup

3 grams • cornstarch • 1 ½ teaspoon

1 gram • cinnamon • ½ teaspoon

0.5 gram • ginger • ¼ teaspoon

Pinch nutmeg

122 grams • apple cider • ½ cup

Cider doughnuts

366 grams • apple cider • 1 ½ cups

80 grams • apple butter • ¼ cup

4 grams • apple cider vinegar • 1 teaspoon

56 grams • coconut oil, melted • ¼ cup

437 grams • all-purpose flour • 3 ½ cups

100 grams • granulated sugar • ½ cup

14 grams • ground flaxseed • 2 tablespoon

8 grams • baking powder • 2 teaspoon

4 grams • baking soda • 1 teaspoon

2 grams • cinnamon • 1 teaspoon

0.5 grams • nutmeg • ¼ teaspoon

3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon

96 grams • nondairy milk • 2/3 cup

About 1 gallon canola oil for frying

Cinnamon-sugar coating

200 grams • granulated sugar • 1 cup

8 grams • cinnamon • 1 tablespoon


Start by making the filling so it is ready to go when your doughnuts are done. Combine apple, lemon juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, and spices in a medium saucepan and toss to coat apples. Add cider and stir well, ensuring that there are no clumps of cornstarch. Heat on low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the apple is tender and liquid has thickened. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.

To make doughnuts, pour apple cider, apple butter, and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and gently simmer until mixture has reduced to a volume of about ½ a cup—about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and add coconut oil. Let cool completely before using.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Pour in reduced apple cider mixture and mix on low speed until completely incorporated. Add nondairy milk and mix just until combined and the dough is smooth.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; place dough on one of them. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough. Roll dough out until it is about ½-inch thick. Chill dough in freezer for about half an hour, or until firm. Once chilled, cut out 2 to 2 ½-inch circles (or other shape—I used a 2-inch square) of dough using a cookie cutter and transfer to the other baking sheet; chill for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, break out the oil—pour into a large, heavy pot with high sides (being sure that the oil does not reach more than 2/3 of the way to the top). Turn on heat to medium and wait for oil to reach about 360 to 375 degrees F. When you are frying the doughnuts, the temperature will vary, so be prepared to change heat accordingly.

While you wait for oil to come to temperature, combine cinnamon and sugar in a small dish; set aside.

To fry doughnuts, slowly lower one round of dough into oil at a time with a large slotted spoon. Only fry three or four doughnuts at a time (depending on the size of your pot), being sure not to over-crowd. Cook each doughnut for about 60 seconds for the first side, then only 30 to 60 seconds on the second side, until the dough reaches a nice golden-brown color. Fish out finished doughnuts with slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack for about a five minutes; then roll in cinnamon sugar while still warm. Let cool completely before stuffing.

To serve, spoon apple pie filling on top of each doughnut. Eat up those babies ASAP.


vegan apple cider doughnuts with stewed apple pie filling
Consider it a sculpture.

This is another recipe from that Vegan Desserts cookbook (the other one being those butternut squash pancakes, which were also fabulous). Strangely, it called for stuffing the doughnuts with the filling as opposed to simply topping them—which makes no sense, as you can’t really stuff a cake doughnut. That’s domain of the yeasted doughnut. Not that it matters. It was just as wonderful to stack the apple mush on top all artsy-like and pretend that you’re some kind of fancy food stylist. Or something.

And, of course, the taste buds can’t exactly see what they’re eating.

vegan apple cider doughnuts with stewed apple pie filling
The mouth don't judge. It ain't about that life.


  1. Yes! What a gorgeous stack of donuts!

  2. Oh mah gawd! These do look amazing! Love the apple filling. : )

  3. I can tell a lotta love went into these, and you're right, nothing beats the real deal, that is - home made! :D Using fresh ingredients, serving them piping hot, the anticipation whilst waiting for them to cool down, patience running out and you burn yourself on the first bite, and then you manage to wait for real until your friend next to you assures you that it isn't too hot to dig in anymore, bliss! ^ ^ You are procrastibaking like a boss! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe :D x

    1. Haha thank *you*! I am so glad you like this. Lots of mouths were burned on these doughnuts. They did not last long :)

  4. Wow, your donuts look amazingly delicious, can't believe its vegan too, pinned:)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! And yes, it is surprising what vegan food can be :)

  5. Yes....these are THE DONUTS!!! I am not even a donut fan--but wouldn't turn one of these babies down :)

    1. Thanks so much! If only I could send doughnuts to you across the internet...then maybe we could confirm that theory :D

  6. Hi! Can you bake instead of fry?

    1. Just to be safe, I wouldn't. Thanks for asking! You could probably try something like this and then top it would the apple pie filling. Would still be delicious :)

    2. Thanks! I can't eat fried food, alas...

    3. Ah, that's okay! Plenty of other treats to make :)

  7. I need to give these a shot! My husband's vegan friend said the first thing he "cheated" with was donuts. He found a local place that makes vegan donuts, but homemade ones are way better.

    1. You should totally make them! They are awesome hot out of the fryer :)

  8. We had some trouble with the middle of these still totallg doughy, any suggestions?

    1. I'm sorry about your doughnuts! Maybe the oil was the wrong temperature? Or perhaps you didn't cook them long enough? Wish I could help you more :(